“Jesus answered: Verily, verily, I say unto thee – except a man be born of water and of the Spirit – he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.” “There is therefore nowno condemnationto them  which are in Christ Jesuswho walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesushath made me freefrom the law of sin and death.(3) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh – and for sin – condemned sin in the flesh (4) that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us – who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” [Jn.3:5; Ro.8:1-4]

The reason these two texts are referenced together is because there is a cohesive connection between them. Jn.3:5 comes to us from the conversation of Nicodemus and Jesus. Jesus declares salvation to Nicodemus, a master/teacher of Israel(3:10). And, this is the very first context that the expression born again (3:3) is used; and, it is significant that it is first used by none other than Christ. The term, bornmeans: to be regenerated; whereas, the word used for againcan be more accurately translated as: from above.  We all are (or, at least, we all ought to be) very interested in just exactly what this truly means. The Lord says without this birth occuring in our personal lives – we can neither see (or perceive, 3:3), nor enter, the Kingdom of God!

Jesus specifically tells Nicodemus from Jn.3:5 that being born again (or, more lit., born from above) means to be born of water and of the Spirit”. “Water is scripturally related to the Holy Word of God in Eph.5:26 where the gospel is proclaimed by relating how Christ so loved the Churchthat He gave Himself for it – that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water (lit.) in the Word”. Additionally, Jesus from Jn.17:2 says of all His saved ones: Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you.”  It is no wonder that the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to write what is written in Titus 3:5-6: not by (or, not out of) works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercyHe saved usby the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit (6) which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior.” And, also, James – by the same Holy Spirit – writes from Jas.1:18: Of His own willHe begat us (or, He caused us be born again) with the Word of Truth”.

But, how do we know that this all important “born from above” – genuine spiritual experience – has indeed happened to us? We know – by the same means that we have been referring to: by the Holy Spirit and the holy Word of God. Jesus, the only begotten, dearly beloved, eternal Son of God – is the living Word of God! When Jesus announced that He (and God the Father) would send to us the Holy Spirit to specifically fulfill the revealing unto us the things concerning Himself i.e. the eternal accomplishments of Christ as the only sovereign, Savior, substitute that there ever was, is or ever will be – He told us: But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me” “He shall glorify mefor He shall receive of mineand shall show it (or, shall announce it; shall reveal it) unto you. (15) All things that the Father hath are minetherefore said Ithat He shall take of mine and shall show it unto you.” [Jn.14:36; 16:14-15.

And, the things that the Holy Spirit will reveal unto us – are the more-than-marvelous things that are declared in Ro.8:1-4! These are things that pertain to our walk through this fallen world. You can read of them for yourselves. May the Spirit lead you to do so. May He teach you what great things are being said here. More than that, may you also realize the living truth of them. Amen.

For Christ’s Glory Only!

John Carpenter

It's more than just campfires and marshmallows...

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